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Posts with tag pop-culture-references

Wowhead covers popular references in WoW

If you've ever wondered about some of the more unusually-named items in World of Warcraft, they might just be named after one of Blizzard's many employees -- or even after someone in the Warcraft community. Wowhead just released an incredibly comprehensive Blizzard and Community References in WoW guide that covers what is a far larger group of references than I'd originally thought. There are even some items on the list that I didn't even know existed, like Brazie's Black Book of Secrets, sold only to Alliance raiders in Icecrown Citadel for a heart-stopping 22,000 gold, and a reference to former Encounter Designer Alexander Brazie.

It's interesting just how many of the items and NPCs we interact with on a daily basis are actually references to real-life people and events. While some are fairly obvious -- who doesn't know that Ghostcrawler the spirit beast is named after Greg Street -- others are far more obscure. I must have picked it up a thousand times, but I never realized that Robble's Wobbly Staff was actually named after someone out here in the real world.

The post, covering only Blizzard employee and community member references, is part of an absorbing pop-culture item reference series. In addition to the Blizzard employee post, the other entries so far in the series include pop culture references in achievements, as well as references inspired by video games, movies and TV, and a lengthy but fascinating post detailing comics, books, music and poetry references. Be sure to check out the entire series, it's well worth the read -- and you may just discover that item you're wearing or that quest you just completed has far more meaning than you'd originally thought.

Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: What pop figures deserve an Easter egg in WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Just this past year, I've fallen in love with a television show called Dr. Who. For all of you who do not know what the show is about, it first aired in the 1960s, and it is about an alien who can change his face and goes traveling through time and space with a human girl in a spaceship that looks like a blue box that is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. If that turns you off based the level of geekiness from that last sentence, don't worry -- it gets a lot worse.

But as I learned more about the history of the show, I always ended up asking myself, "Where is my Time Lord in WoW?" We are all aware of the fact that Blizzard is not afraid to put popular references in WoW, with Lady LaLa and Haris Pilton -- but why not put in a well-respected science fiction character? The thing that kills me is that there is an excellent place to put the Good Doctor into WoW that makes it seem natural: the Caverns of Time. It would seem like a great fit, a place where heroes can witness significant events and fight to correct them.

What about you guys -- who think should get a nod from Blizzard? Do you stop and ask why there are not five teenaged NPCs running around fighting monsters in five different-colored outfits? Or do you think that adding more and more of these fourth wall-breaking nods ruins the game, similar to what people say that Harrison Jones did to Uldum?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: They just don't get it...


Geekdom is much like any other group of people. There are movies, music, and literature which are considered classics and are generally accepted as having been seen, heard, or read by everyone at one point or another. Some of these are so accepted as classics that the idea someone is unfamiliar with them is simply "inconceivable" and we are left shocked when this occurs. Unfortunately, one of our own staff seems uninitiated in such classics.

While discussing some of the quests coming up in patch 3.3, we'd made a joke referencing the Knights who say "Ni!" from Monty Python's Holy Grail. Our own Matt Low mentioned that he didn't get whatever inside joke we were making. Much to our dismay, he had never seen the movie or any Monty Python for that matter. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords for daily quests wouldn't get a chuckle from him. Terry Palin in Elwynn Forest quoting the lumberjack song is also lost on him. He wouldn't even be that concerned about eating the Crunchy Frog available from Darkmoon Faire because he wouldn't know that it contained crunchy, raw, unboned, real, dead frog instead of an almond whirl.

With the vast number of pop culture references scattered in World of Warcraft, it's sad when any are lost on its players. What obscure references have you found in the game that you've enjoyed or other people have completely missed?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Humor

Secrets of the Tuskarr: The Cheena Vala


I have to say, I still have a pretty soft spot for the Tuskarr. They're sort of minor players in Northrend, overall. You help them kidnap some kids and fight off some vikings, grab a penguin pet and a fishing pole, and you're done, and on to bigger and better things in other zones. They don't even merit art for their females. Still, they're always pretty jovial, they look like big fat and happy dudes, and they got turtle boats. It's difficult not to like them.

One of the things they did is spur me to finally get a character maxed out fishing. I was always sort of planning to, one of these days, seriously, but it took the Tuskarr to push me over the edge, just because they made it so chill and awesome. Ok, so the epic fishing pole probably had something to do with it too, but still.

Read more →

Filed under: Fishing, Virtual selves, Lore, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King

25 Easter eggs of the Burning Crusade


We at WoW Insider felt that, in honor of Easter/Noblegarden, we'd go looking for some of the best Easter eggs in Burning Crusade. This is by no means an exhaustive gallery of all the little nods you can find in BC; it's really almost impossible to go anywhere without running into a programmer's sly joke. I had to limit my gallery to things that could be seen by toons who'd outleveled some of the really good quest-related ones ("How To Serve Goblins" was great) or who had ready access to the Blood Elf/Draenei starter areas.

Enjoy your trawl through a feast of cleverly-placed pop-culture references, and you can visit BlizzPlanet for an exhaustive list of Burning Crusade Easter eggs if these whet your appetite for more! Don't forget that with our new gallery functions, you can hit the "Hi Res" button at the top right of the page if you want to see a photo in more detail.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Humor, The Burning Crusade, Guides

Breakfast Topic: Your favorite silly things

Anyone who has ever played World of Warcraft for any length of time knows that the game is strewn with pop culture references and goofy things you do or receive. There are quests that remind us of Nintendo (Mario, Luigi and Link in Un'Goro Crater), references to songs ("Deep Ocean, Vast Sea", the now-gone male Troll /silly about "killed two Dwarves") and comics (like "Doomulus Prime" in Silithus) from everyday life. As a Rogue, I've pick-pocketed many silly items (Gnome Effigies and Steamy Romance Novels) and there are even some fairly silly debuffs in game like the "Bad Poetry" one you get from the actors backstage near the Opera event. (For those who haven't run Kara, "Bad Poetry" puts you to sleep.)

With all the many things in game to enjoy (aside from the just the game itself) our topic this morning is on the sillier aspects of the game. For me, one really big stand-out was when I was doing the Warlock quest in Felwood and summoned El Pollo Grande <The Black Chicken of Death> -- a great big crazy chicken who promptly tried to eat my face. Another one that still makes me giggle is any time a new guild-mate runs through the Bone Wastes and has to do the Fumping quests. (Complete with Dune references, of course) Dwarves that like to bang a drum? I can get behind that!

How about you? What are some real-life references, or just general goofiness in WoW that's made you stop and laugh out loud? Did you guys screen-shot them too, or is that just me?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Features

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